• Comparative host-coronavirus protein interaction networks reveal pan-viral disease mechanisms

      Gordon, David E; Hiatt, Joseph; Bouhaddou, Mehdi; Rezelj, Veronica V; Ulferts, Svenja; Braberg, Hannes; Jureka, Alexander S; Obernier, Kirsten; Guo, Jeffrey Z; Batra, Jyoti; et al. (American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2020-12-04)
      The COVID-19 pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is a grave threat to public health and the global economy. SARS-CoV-2 is closely related to the more lethal but less transmissible coronaviruses SARS-CoV-1 and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). Here, we have carried out comparative viral-human protein-protein interaction and viral protein localization analyses for all three viruses. Subsequent functional genetic screening identified host factors that functionally impinge on coronavirus proliferation, including Tom70, a mitochondrial chaperone protein that interacts with both SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 ORF9b, an interaction we structurally characterized using cryo-electron microscopy. Combining genetically validated host factors with both COVID-19 patient genetic data and medical billing records identified molecular mechanisms and potential drug treatments that merit further molecular and clinical study.
    • Preclinical characterization of an intravenous coronavirus 3CL protease inhibitor for the potential treatment of COVID19

      Boras, Britton; Jones, Rhys M; Anson, Brandon J; Arenson, Dan; Aschenbrenner, Lisa; Bakowski, Malina A; Beutler, Nathan; Binder, Joseph; Chen, Emily; Eng, Heather; et al. (Springer Nature, 2021-10-18)
      COVID-19 caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus has become a global pandemic. 3CL protease is a virally encoded protein that is essential across a broad spectrum of coronaviruses with no close human analogs. PF-00835231, a 3CL protease inhibitor, has exhibited potent in vitro antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2 as a single agent. Here we report, the design and characterization of a phosphate prodrug PF-07304814 to enable the delivery and projected sustained systemic exposure in human of PF-00835231 to inhibit coronavirus family 3CL protease activity with selectivity over human host protease targets. Furthermore, we show that PF-00835231 has additive/synergistic activity in combination with remdesivir. We present the ADME, safety, in vitro, and in vivo antiviral activity data that supports the clinical evaluation of PF-07304814 as a potential COVID-19 treatment.